The Enders Hotel: a Memoir by Brandon Schrand, F754 S6 S37 2008
This review was contributed by Joan Juskie, Library Assistant in Serials and Library News Editor. Library News welcomes summer reading contributions.
Brandon Schrand was one of the featured readers at this year’s Rocky Mountain Writer’s Festival, and his reading from his memoir prompted me to read the entire book. It is a very interesting recollection about growing up in the Enders Hotel in Soda Springs, Idaho during the 1980′s. People and place descriptions in the book are wonderful.
Descriptions and experiences with people include a number of unique characters: the boxer, the ex-con, the ex-professor, the trapper, the artist, the Texans, and more. With $17. a night rooms, the place attracted some interesting people. Sometimes when they left they would leave their belongings behind, which were put in the “suitcase room” in the basement. Imagine young boys having the adventure of going through these in search of treasures.
For me, however, the place and experience were the more compelling interest of the book. Imagine a childhood where you grow up eating all of your meals in a cafe! Geyser Hill and other wild areas were nearby. Imagine exploring the basement of a building constructed in 1917, with stairways which led to nowhere (probably a remnant of trap doors in prohibition days.) Imagine finding an old menu in the basement which listed coffee at $ .05 a cup!
The book is made up of short chapters which make it a great, easy summer reading book. It has also inspired me to make a day trip to Soda Springs to explore the hotel and city now that I have shared these memories of it.